Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster
I read Spellsinger just a couple of days go, and I loved it. By and large, the characters were likeable and funny. It is not overly complicated, nor is it overly simple. Unlike a lot of fantasy, it does not culminate in a huge siege-wait for Hour of the Gate for that!
My favourite aspect must have been the characters. They are all staples, tokens and cliches, but you just have to love them. You have the old wizard, but he is far from perfect. One example of his fallibility comes early in Spellsinger. He tries to conjure gold, but winds up with chocolate coins. You also have the naive newcomer, the rogue, the hardened warrior, the love interest, the fop and a Marxist dragon. Trust me, that last part will make perfect sense.
My favourite character is probably Pog. I know he's a coward, I know he whines about everything, but I just can't help but love him. He suddenly becomes a much deeper character in Hour of the Gate, and I loved that as well.
However, it is not perfect. Jon-Tom is a real goody two-shoes, which makes him a little less likeable. It sounds crazy, but it's true. It is also a little easy for my tastes, but that might just be me.
Over all, I would heartily reccomend the Spellsinger series.
Submitted by Myah
I started to read this series three years ago and they took me to a world that I couldn't get out of. The amazing thing about these books is that they can be considered a book that teenagers can read (when they have time, that is). The books take you through the life of a once rockband druggy, Johnathan Thomas Merrieweather, to his transformation into the savior of the univers as Jon-Tom the Spellsinger. These are great books and I wish to praise Mr. Foster for getting these books on the shelfs.
Submitted by rune
A tale of a young man who gets pulled into a world were animals can talk and have lives very similar to people. A turtle wizard is looking for another powerful wizard to help combat a new powerful force, but what he gets is a student who doesn't realise he as any magic ability. I liked the characters, especially the otter and there was some good humour in the plot.
Submitted by karen fox
I used to work in a book warehouse and one day 5 years ago I took home a book called Spellsinger (mostly because I couldn't find anything better to read). Since then I have re-read the entire series too many times to count. It is not hard reading, thought provoking or booker prize material, but it is pure fantasy and very enjoyable. Alan has a way of writing which is close to Stephen King in that he really makes you get to know his characters and care deeply about them. You easily find yourself cringing at the antics of Mudge or hating Flor because she stands in the way of Jon-Tom and Talea getting it on. Whatever the magic is that Alan works let's hope he keeps on working it and gives us another novel in the series.
Submitted by Mike Witthoft
This series is fantastic. I first read "Spellsinger" sometime in high school, and was enchanted with the world of Mudge and Clothahump, and more so with Mudge than with any other character. For those unfamiliar with the "Spellsinger" novels, here is a brief synopsis: A college student, while in a drug-induced haze, is transported/pulled to an alternate world by a powerful yet somewhat senile old wizard, a turtle named Clothahump. The first companion the student, Jon-Tom (short for "Jonathan Thomas" [Meriwether]), makes is the libidinous otter, Mudge. "Character" sums up Mudge very well, needless to say. From there, Jon-Tom and Mudge gradually become friends on their various quests to rid this alternate world of evil. Foster was able to blend in many pop culture references and create characters whose traits and failings are easily accessible to the average reader. I have recently re-read the entire 8-book series (a ninth, "Serenade," is due soon), and could not put the books down. It's a fun series to read, and a terrific introduction to the sci-fi/fantasy genre for those who haven't yet entered this realm. With the early drug references, it's not necessarily for children, but enjoyable nonetheless.
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